MP: UPA-2 pushed back industrial growth by 5 years, says Rahul Bajaj | indore | Hindustan Times
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MP: UPA-2 pushed back industrial growth by 5 years, says Rahul Bajaj

indore Updated: Feb 06, 2015 20:50 IST
Manoj Ahuja
Rahul Bajaj


The UPA government came in for sharp criticism from industrialist Rahul Bajaj on Friday.

Addressing the media on the sidelines of a conclave held in Indore, Bajaj said wrong environmental policy followed by the previous regime had pushed back the country's industrial development by five years.

"Who bore the brunt (due to stalling of projects)? The poor and the banks," he said.

"The industry wants sustainable growth with clean environment, but not a clean environment at any cost. (The government has to) take care of growth," he said, quoting Indira Gandhi that the biggest polluter in the world is poverty.

Talking about the forthcoming budget, Bajaj said he expected finance minister Arun Jaitley to come up with a "growth and employment-oriented budget which will ultimately bring down subsidies."

The need of the hour was economic growth and employment generation, otherwise subsidies will have to be given. This will lead to higher taxes, ultimately resulting in tax evasion and generation of black money, he added.

"The finance minister is pro-tax payer, pro-business and pro-industry. He understands that you need to first create wealth and only then you can distribute it, otherwise you are only distributing poverty."

Talking about subsidies, Bajaj said it was the government's responsibility to ensure that no family in India should die of hunger. "However, that should not be by dole, but it should be by giving jobs. Not by MGNREGA digging a hole and filling it up."

The industrialist said the automobile sector was going through a difficult phase. "Last year, monsoon was bad. If monsoon is good and hopefully with this government following the right policy, then auto industry should grow by high single digit or double digit."

Talking about the government's 'Make in India' initiative, Bajaj said he had become notorious in 1993 and labelled a protectionist when other industrialists had demanded a level playing field for Indian manufacturers.

He also exhorted manufactures to be cost competitive and quality competitive to sell their products in the domestic market.

Bajaj, who is a former member of Parliament, said the NDA would find it very difficult to pass the land acquisition bill and other bills except insurance bill in the Rajya Sabha.

He also said the BJP government should mend fences with the Opposition in the larger interest of the nation.